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Exploring Life & Business with Sherri Estep of Emotions Make Scents

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sherri Estep.

Hi Sherri, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.

My name is Sherri Estep. I was born in Washington, D.C. but raised in Maryland. The journey that led me here, as the Owner of Emotions Make Scents, is direct. I lost my father at a very young, when this happens, you aren’t left with many memories to reflect on a range of emotions to comprehend. While growing up, I was blessed to always have food on the table, clothes on my back, and the love every child deserves. Things were not always great, but they weren’t always bad. My mother did her best, raising two young girls.  I carried around a void that could never be filled. This made me emotionally stimulated and only sometimes able to positively display my emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a problem child, but I gave her some problems. Whew, sorry, mommy! As a fatherless child there were challenges to navigating my way in a crazy world through my years of growing, learning, excelling, failing, traveling, worshipping, and praying. I dealt with a lot of stress and anxiety. I can never forget the smell of my dad, and I’d get this sense of peace within that would make me smile, even in my adult years, like right now. If I catch a waft of his scent from someone simply walking by, I develop a smile that is unmatched in width because, at that moment, I can recall the last time I hugged my father and the happiness we both felt. Having these memories of my father that are triggered by his smell is what inspired me to begin creating fragrances. I was trying to find “his” scent because his smell made me happy. I tried walking in the stores and smelling random colognes, lotions, after-shave, etc. As this search failed, I decided who better than myself to recreate the scent of happiness that I desired… And JUST like that! I started researching fragrances, notes, blends, measuring, and mixing.

I turned into a real-life Mad-Scientist and finally produced something that I liked. It was different from what I was going for, but it was close. It smelled amazing, and I knew I wanted to share it with the world. After months of trial and error to perfect the blend, I called it “Close Proximity,” which is my first signature scent. I should have called it Devine intervention! The feedback that I received was beyond what I imagined. At that point, I had the narrative shift and began focusing on other unique scents, so back into the lab I went! I started with Room Sprays and moved into Candle Making while networking and getting my products into the hands of everyone that would take them.

The feedback I received was overwhelming, but it was additional confirmation that I had something great! I officially launched Emotions Make Scents in April of 2022 and haven’t let up myself yet! Through hard work, dedication, consistency, and relationship building. My room sprays were noticed and chosen as one of the Luxury Products featured in the Jesse Collins Entertainment Gift Boxes that were gifted to some of the top artists in the Entertainment Industry for the BET 2022 Hip Hop Awards. This is a huge deal to any Small Business Owner and anyone else that knows who Jesse Collins is (Google him if you don’t). God said, “You asked me for this, and It’s yours for the taking.” I am, being interviewed about my story, brand, and products! Whew, it’s been a journey and one that I would not change!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been smooth?

In all honesty, I have been blessed. I had yet to learn that Emotions Make Scents would take off the way it did within the first 2 weeks. The major obstacles began when I was trying to get supplies! I sold out of all inventories. Yes, all my inventory. My storage shelves were dry, and I couldn’t get deliveries, so I had to go back to square one to find vendors. I thought it was over before I could get started.

I began feeling defeated and questioning if God was trying to tell me that this was not my path. Thankfully, that was not the case! I found new vendors, deliveries came, and I resumed creating again. From that point, everything began to shape itself and work out for the greater good; I’m so thankful for the understanding and support I continue to receive from my husband, customers, better known as “Complex Emotionalists.” Without their patience, there would be no Emotions Make Scents.

All right, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?

Emotions Make Scents is a small, black-woman-owned business based out of Southern Maryland that produces wooden wicked candles, room sprays, wax melts, and reed diffusers. I created my company in hopes to transport you to, or help you to, create a unique place of happiness and serenity through the complex connection between scents and emotions.

Emotions Make Scents is known for our unique luxury fragrances that appeals to all. In my collection, you will not find the “typical” candle scents that you may be used to purchasing, and you can walk into the store and grab them. This is what sets us apart from other brands. Not to mention, we have a super cute logo! I understand that everyone prefers certain scented notes. However, if you’re a person that loves the smell of baked pies, cookies, and fruit, respectfully, our brand isn’t for you. If you’re a person that loves the smell of smooth, sexy, light, and sensual scents, then head on over to my website at I have something for you! One of the attributes of my brand that I am most proud of is that my components are non-toxic! I use an FDA Approved, 100% natural wax blend that is gluten-free, toxin-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, clean-burning, and biodegradable. I also use vegan, toxin-free, phthalate-free, mutagen-free, cruelty-free, and carcinogen-free fragrance when creating my scents.

You may be wondering how I decided on my company name. I will take you back to my dad’s story and my inspiration. Remember, I was trying to mimic my father’s scent because it always made me happy within! Was it his happy emotions that I smelled when we hugged? Yes, that’s my answer, and I’m sticking to it! Now, let’s talk about facts. Did you know that scent is the most powerful trigger of emotion and memory among all our senses? I didn’t either, but when I learned this information and tied it to my reason. It was simple; Emotions Make Scents just made sense!

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting?
My advice for anyone just starting with business ownership is to research! Do everything by the book, and don’t try to shortcut your way through because you will surely cut your blessing short by taking shortcuts! Make sure that you know the ends and outs of the industry as well as your products.

Read that again: Hard Work, Dedication, Education, and Consistency will get you to the finish line! Most importantly, believe in yourself and your product, and don’t give up!

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